In 1998, George Hammel suffered a spinal fracture while competing in motocross racing near San Diego, and doctors told him he would remain paralyzed for life.
Determinated to prove them wrong, he persisted with physical therapy and eventually returned to walking. Additionally, he started riding road bicycles without modifications which further sharpened his competitive spirit.
Early Life and Education
George Hammel was born on November 27, 1802 in Steinwenden, Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany as the seventh and third son of Johann Nicolaus Hammel and Maria Katharina Zinssmeister.
At the age of eight, George Hammel lived in Baltimore with his parents and sisters. Diagnosed with incomplete paraplegia at age nine, Hammel determined not to let that stop him from living life to its fullest.
He pursued a professional motocross career, and by 1998 had achieved success across the country. Unfortunately, during one race he hit a jump going too quickly and was thrown backward off his bike into an empty wall.
After being unable to walk again, George spent several years in physical therapy. With perseverance and the help of forearm crutches and AFO lower leg braces, he was able to walk again; today he is an accomplished computer consultant and entrepreneur who continues to conquer life’s obstacles with grace and determination.
George Hammel is a professional off-road racer. He has participated in numerous professional motocross races and earned himself numerous accolades along the way.
He has participated in a variety of endurance events, such as El Tour de Tucson and Ironman 70.3 California.
In 1998, when he broke his back during a motocross race, doctors told him that it would be impossible for him to walk again.
Hammel overcame years of physical limitations through determination and the help of custom carbon fiber leg braces. Finally, she was able to resume walking independently.
Since then, he has become an inspiration to others. His message is simple: no matter how difficult something may seem, you can always adapt. Additionally, he wishes to motivate athletes with disabilities or injuries to pursue their goals no matter how challenging it may seem at first glance.
Achievements and Honors
George Hammel had been a professional motocross racer for many years, competing across the United States and winning numerous races and championships. Unfortunately, in 1998 his back was broken during an intense motocross race, leading his doctors to tell him that it would be impossible for him to walk again.
George defied all odds to rehab and return to cycling, recapturing his love of racing in events such as Tour de Tucson and Ironman 70.3 California. Despite these setbacks, George persevered through his injuries to gain strength back on the bike.
George was an incredible racer, but also a loving husband and father. He treasured spending time with his family, teaching them sports like skiing and snowboarding.
George Hammel was a man of strong principles and high expectations. He lived his life with integrity and honesty, displaying an admirably gracious attitude in both victory and defeat.
He was a proud husband, father, and grandfather. Throughout his 45-year marriage to Judy, he showed unfailing devotion in caring for her in her final years.
In 1998, George suffered a spinal fracture during a professional motocross race and was subsequently diagnosed with paraplegia. Doctors predicted that he would never walk again.
George has demonstrated great courage and faith throughout his life despite facing tremendous odds, inspiring the ORMHOF with their 2022 Louis Unser Never Give Up Award in recognition of his exceptional determination and perseverance in motocross racing. We salute him with this recognition!
George Hammel’s net worth is estimated to range between $1 million and $4 million, generated from his career as a singer and music producer.
Hammel also owns a winery.
Born in Toronto, Ontario of Jewish descent, he attended Ryerson Institute of Technology from 1954-1955 under the television arts program but did not graduate.
He has also worked as a weekend announcer for CKVR-TV and CKBB Radio in Canada, co-hosting numerous children’s shows such as Razzle Dazzle.
Hammel and many millennials face a major concern: student debt. 58% of those under 30 with a bachelor’s degree borrow money to cover expenses, while 54% of those same age groups with graduate degrees do the same.